Trump’s lawyers are trying to pre-empt a Mueller subpoena compelling a President Trump to appear before a Grand Jury….President’s Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon have already testified before Grand Juries…
President Trump’s lawyers have for months quietly waged a campaign to keep the special counsel from trying to force him to answer questions in the investigation into whether he obstructed justice, asserting that he cannot be compelled to testify and arguing in a confidential letter that he could not possibly have committed obstruction because he has unfettered authority over all federal investigations.
In a brash assertion of presidential power, the 20-page letter — sent to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and obtained by The New York Times — contends that the president cannot illegally obstruct any aspect of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling because the Constitution empowers him to, “if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon.”
[Read the Trump lawyers’ confidential memo to Mr. Mueller here.]
Mr. Trump’s lawyers fear that if he answers questions, either voluntarily or in front of a grand jury, he risks exposing himself to accusations of lying to investigators, a potential crime or impeachable offense.
Mr. Trump’s broad interpretation of executive authority is novel and is likely to be tested if a court battle ensues over whether he could be ordered to answer questions. It is unclear how that fight, should the case reach that point, would play out. A spokesman for Mr. Mueller declined to comment….
On Pardons, which given, would STILL let Mueller compell those named to come before him and become witnesses against Trump….
Eric Holder, Obama’s former Attorney General, told an audience at a political event in New Hampshire Friday that even if Trump is using his pardon power to send a signal to potential witnesses in the Mueller probe, people who are pardoned can still go before a grand jury.
Bottom line: Holder said Trump issuing pardons “will not ultimately thwart the Mueller investigation.” That’s because “if Bob Mueller, for instance wants to take a pardoned person, put that person before a grand jury, that person no longer has the ability to say, ‘I’m going to invoke my Fifth Amendment right'” and “that person then becomes a perfect witness for the special counsel.”….
Media reports are that Mueller’s investigation has cost taxpayers almost $17 million for the first year….
Daily Kos compares that cost to money spend on Trump….
The Justice Department has released a reporting showing the cost of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign entanglements of the Trump campaign. Through just over a year, the total comes in at $16.7 million.
Naturally, this resulted in a morning tweet from Donald Trump. Trump had previously pegged the cost of the investigation at $20 million, an exaggeration modest enough that he likely had someone at the DOJ check the books for him. And while Trump may be wishing he had that cash so he could grab some Florida real estate for a Russian oligarch, the cost of the ongoing investigation does seem … perfectly reasonable.
Compared to the estimated $67 million the government has providing Trump with trips to Mar-a-lago to play golf, Mueller’s investigation comes off as quite a bargain…